Steve Benz, PE Named USGBC LEED Fellow and ASLA Honorary Member

Steve Benz, PE, LEED Fellow, Honorary ASLA discusses the value of green infrastructure in the experience and vitality of public spaces.

Partner and Director of Green Infrastructure Steve Benz has been recognized as a LEED Fellow by the U.S. Green Building Council and as an Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Both of these honors recognize Steve’s contributions to the design of sustainable systems within public spaces, including the integration of metric-driven green infrastructure strategies. Throughout his 30-year career, he has shown exemplary leadership in the fields of green infrastructure, civil engineering and landscape architecture through education, mentorship, advocacy, research, and service in professional organizations.

As Director of Green Infrastructure, Steve Benz leads sustainable design strategies within OLIN’s projects, as well as the discourse within the studio surrounding green infrastructure research and initiatives. He guides and manages the sustainability objectives of each project, working closely with landscape architects, planners and engineers to create responsive, metric-based solutions. Steve also leads OLIN’s contributions to the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), and is currently shepherding two of OLIN’s projects through the SITES Pilot Program.

“Green infrastructure is fundamental to the development of our communities,” Steve attests. “It’s about the quality of the way we build our urban spaces.” Steve has executed this commitment to enhancing life through the design of quality spaces, both in terms of human activity and the ecological systems impacted by development. His portfolio encompasses a diversity of project typologies, such as Yale University’s Kroon Hall in New Haven, Connecticut (Certified LEED NC2.2 Platinum), Washington Canal Park, opening on November 16th in Washington, DC (LEED NC2009 and Sustainable Sites Initiative Pilot Project), and Patchwork, OLIN’s award-winning entry to the International Living Future Institute’s Living City Design Competition.


Top: Washington Canal Park, which opens on November 16th, is envisioned as a vibrant public space. Bottom: Canal Park will also be a working landscape, with linear plant beds that redirect stormwater runoff into a below-grade filtration system.

Beyond his project accomplishments, Steve is also a recognized thought leader and advocate for the advancement of green infrastructure practice and theory. He served on the USGBC’s Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for nearly seven years (the last two as its Chair), and remains engaged with the TAG as a Subject Matter Expert. In this role, he has been instrumental in the development of the site sustainability and green infrastructure LEED rating systems. He has also recently been appointed to the USGBC Water Efficiency TAG as well as the SITES Sustainable Sites TAG and Technical Core Committee. Steve is a lauded speaker and author, with his book, The Project Manager’s CADD Survival Guide, numerous articles in industry periodicals, and annual invitations to lecture at top-tier universities and professional conferences, affirming the broad and deep diversity of his expertise. “By educating and inspiring others in the field,” he says, “I can expand the reach of my work, recognize the contributions of my own mentors whose leadership has led me to where I am in my career today, and continue with others the exploration and advancement of the practice to levels beyond my own reach.”


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